Friday, December 30, 2005

Museum of London Opens New Gallery

A new Medieval exhibition that features a lot of material excavated in the last twenty years at the museum has just opened. Read more.

The Museum of London has been one of our family's favorite places since 1972. At that time it was located in Kensington Palace somewhere around the spot that much later came to be the home of Princess Di. Our son David and daughter Amy used to love the old London Fire diorama and would stand through several repetitions of its little lights and sound effects. Though it is pretty low tech by today's standards, it was moved to the new location and as of a few years ago was still working its magic on today's youngsters.

There are a number of reasons why this museum should be on your list of London Must Sees--the main ones being that it is well arranged, full of fascinating exhibits from the pre-historic to the contemporary, and has one of the best gift shops and bookstores in the city. OHH DID I MENTION THAT ADMISSION IS FREE! That's an advantage that is not easy to come by in London. The first part of Walk 9 ("Doing Battle Around the Barbican") in my London Theatre Walks ends at the Museum of London because the museum contains several exhibits concentrating on the history of the theatre.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's on the road to Iowa again

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for happy holidays with the kids and the grandkids.

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This little guy is cute but . . . .

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This guy's a "Ten" as a person and in years. Go Hawks!

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Our tree close and personal

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The Whole Town's Talkin About the Brown Brothers

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Dave the Photo Guru

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Mikel the College Guy

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TJ the College Guy

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Mikel and Dave

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Da Family

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Merry Christmas

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Monday, December 26, 2005

All Merried Out

Well here we are the day after Christmas. David helped install the new hard drive and pick up the splintered pieces of data. With his talent there was little data lost and some hard lessons learned. Although the backup was pretty good, it wasn't perfect and had not been done frequently enough. Warning to all. It can happen to you and it will never happen at an opportune time. Not quite sure how we would have coped without the IT guy from Minneapolis. It was a lovely day otherwise. The weather stayed bearable and the bearable Bears beat Bret and the Packers. Jan was not a happy camper. Jim felt bad for the Pack, but also was pleased that the Bears seem to finally have a quarterback.

We all piled out of bed early this morning and headed over to Cedar Rapids for another dose of Christmas. Lots of presents, more good eats, lots of Scrabble, and other games. We'll post a few pics when we get home tomorrow. S'all there is right now.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Silence for a Reason

Everything was hunkey and dory going into the final week of holiday prep. With the Christmas letter just barely printed out, we were greeted with a fearsome blue screen of death on the Dell desktop. Frantic calls to nice folks in India produced the sentence you don't wish to hear--catastropic hard drive failure. Luckily the five year old laptop is still chugging, but with the last backup the first of the month there will be some data lost for good. Other than that we are still smiling. The new drive is expected momentarily on the wings of the folks in Brown. Hopefully son Dave of IT and fame will be able to help with the installation.

Merry Christmas to all of the one or two people who might read this blog once in a while.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Back to Cedar Rapids Again

We headed over to CR over the weekend to celebrate T.J's tenth birthday. There was also time to get a look at his science project, which featured the invention of a no-slip pillow for your bed.
The cake was a beauty, as the pics show, and we all had a whale of a time playing UNO.

Have Science Project Will Travel Posted by Picasa

Grandma and Mikel Are Astonished Posted by Picasa

TJ Celebrates Number Ten Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy Anniversary!

Lots of people get all warm and gooey inside when the thought of wedding anniversaries comes up. Like sugar plums those images of roses by the dozens, lacy lingerie, and diamond pendants declaring everlasting romance flit across the mind. Then the reality of the cold and slippery outside enters the quotient. Enter a real anniversary present. It ain't sexy, it won't wilt in a week, and of course it's in the cost range of a diamond. Happy Anniversary Jim and Jan--46 years on Dec. 19th.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas Carol Finishes Successful Run

Christmas Carol Monmouth style will roll into the record books with two performances today at 2 and 7:30. The show has gotten better each night. With over 60 in the cast they barely fit on the stage during the curtain call.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Goodbye Old Friend

Goodbye! The old Routemaster hop-on hop-off red busses are moving rapidly toward their final runs. I know that they take two people to crew, are dangerous, and impossible for the handicapped, but they'll still be missed. Luckily they will apparently still run on some selected Heritage routes. Search them out.

The No. 9, pictured to the left was boarded almost daily by our family when we lived near Kensington High Street in the 1970's.

You could get almost anywhere worth going from Hammersmith to the Tower.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Winter touched us with a passion this morning as the mercury dipped to -7 below zero farenheit. But the heart was warm as son David in writing about the day that John Lennon died was kind enough to mention his dear old dad in his story. Check it out.

Finished a book by Martha Grimes titled Rainbow's End. Had not run into her work before. She is another American (like Elizabeth George) who writes detective novels with British settings and characters. The local color is lovely as we range from the Tate Gallery to the V&A as well as the Dirty Duck and shadowy banks of the Avon in Stratford. The main gumshoe is Chief Superintendent Richard Jury and he marches stoically through the book surrounded by a gallery of excentrics who provide both humor and assistance in the search for a possible killer of three seemingly unconnected women. The search takes Jury to America where we get a loving picture of Santa Fe and the surrounding area. I thought the side tracks got a bit too long on occasion, but I will sample at least one more of her efforts before giving up.

Shakespeare is in the news again. Seems as though the old boy never really goes out of fashion or at least the attempt to figure out the old boy's life doesn't go out of fashion. You can take a peak at the reviews of both volumes at the link. Press here

Monday, December 05, 2005

First Dress of Christmas Carol

Final rehearsals are underway for the Monmouth College Theatre and the Buchanan Center for the Fine Arts production of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol.
Almost seventy college students, faculty, and townspeople are featured in this warm retelling of the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s encounter with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Performances begin this Thursday evening at 7:30 PM and continue on Friday at 7:30 PM and Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30. For best seats and to get information about which cast is performing at which times call the Buchanan Center at 309-734-3033.

There will also be two performances for Monmouth elementary school children. Take a gander at some of the action at the rehearsal in the pics below.

"Do Si Do at the Fezziwigs" Posted by Picasa

"Dancin at the Fezziwig's" Posted by Picasa

"Shiver me timbers, it's Jacob Marley's ghost" Posted by Picasa

"Cheering up Scrooge is no easy task" Posted by Picasa

"The Strolling Carolers get ready" Posted by Picasa

"The trio rehearses" Posted by Picasa

"Look how closely they listen to the director" Posted by Picasa